Take some rich, fudgey chocolate brownies run through with salted caramel. Break them up into little pieces. Stir them into a thick, sweet, creamy custard base. Freeze it. Take it out when it’s nearly frozen. Swirl through more salted caramel sauce. Throw in a few handfuls of chocolate chips for good measure. After a few more hours in the freezer you’ll be rewarded with a rich, decadent creamy ice cream. The ice cream base is smooth, melting into soft pools around lumps of yielding, gooey fudge brownie. The chocolate chips offer texture and bite. Wrapped around all this are velvety swirls of golden salted caramel. Honestly, could you want anything more from an ice cream? This is the sort of ice cream for celebrations. Its the sort of ice cream that could mend broken hearts.
This recipe was inspired by this Smitten Kitchen recipe for Salted Caramel Brownies. I made a batch, with little pools of melting salted caramel, and couldn’t stop thinking about turning it into an ice cream. These are the brownies that I’ve used, but you could really use any brownie recipe you like. Although you’ll be missing out on some incredible salted caramel brownies, i’d wager this ice cream would even taste good with broken up shop bought brownies.
I wanted the caramel sauce to stay creamy in the freezer, and not set with a teeth-breaking crack, so I added a little more cream. The result is an ice cream that one minute tastes like vanilla, the next like salted caramel. Occasionally you get pockets of pure caramel where it hasn’t combined. It softens gently back into a sauce as the ice cream melts, setting off the chunks of brownie beautifully.
I braved the stares of the locals to photograph this ice cream outside. They were the fastest photos I’ve ever taken, snapped away quickly before the blazing sun could melt it into a sweet, sticky puddle. I’m sure it would have been easier to have taken them inside, under the air con, but then I wouldn’t have had that lovely light. Ice Cream like this deserves to be eaten in the sun, by the sea.
Fudge Brownie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream
(makes 4 small portions, or two big ones for ice cream lovers)
2 egg yolks
50g golden caster sugar
150ml double cream
150ml full fat milk
1 vanilla pod, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
60g brownie, chopped into small pieces
For the Salted Caramel Sauce
30g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter
2 tbsp double cream
2 pinches of salt
Put the egg yolks in a large bowl. Add in the sugar and whip until thick.
In a saucepan, heat your cream and milk until just below boiling point.
Slowly pour over the egg yolk and sugar mixture, stirring constantly.
Put the mixture in a large saucepan. Heat it over a low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it starts to thicken. When you can draw a clear line in the mixture on the back of the spoon it’s ready. Make sure you keep a close eye on the custard as it cooks, you don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs!
Pour the custard into a freezer proof container – a snap lock tupperware would be perfect. Leave to cool until room temperature. Cover and freeze for an hour.
After the first hour, remove the custard from the freezer and stir it with a fork. It probably won’t be too frozen by this stage, but if it is give it a good stir and a mash to break up all the ice crystals. Add in the chunks of brownie and chocolate chips and stir well. Put back in the freezer. After another hour take it out the freezer and stir up again.
Meanwhile, make your salted caramel sauce.
Put the sugar in a heavy based saucepan over a low heat. Cook until it is all melted and turned a golden amber colour. This should take about five minutes, but keep a very close eye on it, stirring if you need to break up larger chunks, as it is very easy to burn it at this stage. Once it is all melted and darkened, take it off the heat.
Immediately stir in the butter, trying to incorporate as much as possible. Then pour in the cream and add the salt. Mix it vigorously until combined. You may have to pop it back on a low heat for a few seconds. Leave to cool until lukewarm, but still very fluid.
Once you get to hour three of freezing, take your ice cream out before and give it a good mashing up. This time, before putting it back, carefully swirl through the salted caramel sauce. I had to carefully fold it into the mixture to achieve the pools and ripples of caramel I wanted.
Pop it back in the freezer for another two to three hours to give it a final freeze.
Take out of the freezer to soften about ten minutes before you want to serve.